A Salvadoran national who fled Texas rather than serve a sentence for sexual assault was returned to the United States today, marking the first extradition from El Salvador, the Justice Department said.
The defendant, Jose Marvin Martinez, was convicted in March 2006 in Brazoria County, Texas, on two sex charges, including sexual assault on a child. Martinez, who was free on bond during the trial, was sentenced to eight years in prison and 10 years of community supervision, Justice officials said. But before the jury deliberated his case, Martinez fled.
Martinez was arrested in El Salvador in January 2008. Last month, the Supreme Court of Justice in El Salvador ruled 10 to 5 to extradite Martinez to the United States, the Justice Department said. The United States and El Salvador have a bilateral extradition treaty. El Salvador amended its constitution in July 2000 to allow the extradition of Salvadoran nationals.
“Today’s extradition brings a criminal to justice and paves the way forward in our law enforcement partnership with El Salvador,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division in a statement. “The long arm of the law reaches farther with every successful extradition to and from the United States, as we work with our partners around the world to make sure criminals cannot find safe haven from justice.”